Arnold Kling  

Not in My Interest

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Tom Coburn and Joseph Lieberman attempt to forge a centrist proposal on Medicare.


"We can't balance our budget without dealing with mandatory spending programs like Medicare. We can't save Medicare as we know it. We can only save Medicare if we change it. And that's what the Medicare Reform Plan Tom Coburn and I are proposing will do," said Senator Lieberman.

Even though what he says is true, and even though their plan has positive features, it is not in my interest that it pass. These days, I am getting attention and paying gigs because of my thoughts on the possibility of a U.S. sovereign debt crisis. In theory, passing a plan like this would reduce the odds of such a crisis by a considerable amount.

Fortunately for me, this plan is likely to go nowhere, and my conjectures about a U.S. sovereign debt crisis will still be in demand.


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CATEGORIES: Fiscal Policy



COMMENTS (2 to date)
Victor writes:

Please provide evidence for the theory that utilization behavior will change dramatically because of Medigap reform, and for the large $130b savings estimated from the payment design reform plank of their proposal. This change is on top of Medigap reform that will occur in 2015 under PPACA, and seems to rely on the relatively flimsy supposition that those who have purchased and continue to pay for a Medigap plan would otherwise utilize services at a much lower rate if their cost sharing amounts were just changed (in some cases).

Also please explain why "booking" savings from such speculative long-term behavioral changes and then instituting almost-certain short-term spending programs, such as the 3-year doc fix, reduces the likelihood of a sovereign debt crisis. Vaporous long-term savings estimates and hard dollar short-term spending increases would seem to be a big part of the problem and not part of the solution.

tom writes:

Please provide a way I can go 'long' Kling's income over the next 5 years.

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